Catamaran Race Ready to Run in Lake of the Ozarks
2 Oct, 2020
Performance Boat Center will host the 2020 Offshore at the Lakes Catamaran (CAT) Edition boat race in collaboration with the Offshore Powerboat Association (OPA). The race hosted in Lake of the Ozarks will be the first of its kind for the area. Super Stock and CAT racing teams from across the U.S., including the Miss GEICO Offshore Racing Team, will compete in two days of CAT only racing on Oct. 2-3.
A new partnership between the American Powerboat Association (APBA) and OPA drew record-breaking crowds and race teams during the 2019 season. "We had great plans and a lot of anticipation for the 2020 season," said OPA President Ed "Smitty" Smith. "In spite of early cancellations, we're especially excited to return to Lake of the Ozarks for this catamaran-only race. We are excited to partner with Performance Boat Center to create a safe event for racers and fans alike."
The 47-foot Miss GEICO Victory catamaran overturned on the last turn of the final lap during the Sarasota race in July 2019. The team has since invested 13 months of intensive work to repair and restore the Miss GEICO boat. The refurbished boat recently competed for the first time during the Crystal Coast Grand Prix in Morehead City, NC, the first race of the season.
"Because of the pandemic, races have been cancelled or postponed. Local ordinances forced us to close our facilities for a while," said GEICO Crew Chief Gary Stray. "Once we were able to return to the shop, we had the opportunity to invest extra time to ensure the boat was in top performance condition for our first race. Our boat performed flawlessly in Morehead City and we are especially excited about returning to Lake of the Ozarks."
In addition to a newly restored boat, Miss GEICO will sport a new racer in the driver's seat. APBA Hall of Champions inductee Brit Lilly will occupy the driver's seat for the second time.
Boat racing legend Sir Steve Curtis will control the throttles for the 11-time world championship Miss GEICO team. Curtis has more than 20 world championship titles. He also has been deemed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his success in offshore racing.
Miss GEICO weighs 11,750 pounds with identical race engines sealed and governed by Mercury Racing to ensure fairness. The 47-foot Miss GEICO Victory catamaran is made of carbon fiber, Kevlar and S-glass for high performance. The boat sports a pair of Mercury-sealed 1,100 horsepower twin-turbo engines and can reach top speeds of more than 160 mph.
Short-course races will take place starting at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. A Festival of Speed will commence at 6 p.m. Friday at Shady Gators and the Race Village. Racing action will continue on Saturday, Oct. 3 beginning at 3 p.m. with full course laps. The two-day event will be a points accumulation race to determine final placements. Spectators can view the races from boats in designated areas and along the public areas of the race course. Safety on the race course and in surrounding areas is top priority. Please be mindful of local ordinances and maintaining safe social distances.